The digital defenders: Some of the key players in Scottish public sector ICT
A snapshot of people in this sector, we hope it gives an insight into how strategically important technology is now to Scottish public service delivery.
Nicola Graham, Head of ICT, Aberdeenshire Council, Vice-President, SOCITM UK and Chair, SOCITM Scotland
Nicola Graham is an experienced senior digital leader with 25 years commercial and public sector expertise. She has been head of ICT at Aberdeenshire Council since 2012 and is both vice-president of SOCITM UK and chair of SOCITM Scotland. SOCITM is the body representing IT and digital professionals across the public sector. In her role at Aberdeenshire, Graham is responsible for the council’s digital strategy and delivery of all ICT services. This includes support for all applications, networks and devices, both to corporate and schools sites. As well as this, a key element of her role is the delivery of new digital projects across the council, deploying new technology and applications to support the organisation’s strategy.
Speaking to Holyrood last year, Graham said: “There are a number of challenges coming our way, some obvious ones such as health and social care integration and the growing pressure on budgets that all of the public sector faces. The biggest challenge of all that I can see is how we drive the culture change that needs to happen across the public sector to embrace new digital ways of working. In particular, keeping up with the pace of change that technology is bringing.”
Asked what she found rewarding about her job, she said: “Working with my current team and seeing them grow in confidence and over the last four years, we’ve undertaken a process of significant change in many areas – technology, process and culture – with still a long way to go. There have been a few challenges along the way, but overall we feel like we’re making a difference and I really enjoy coming to work every day.”
Colin Cook, Director of Digital, Scottish Government
Colin Cook was made acting director of digital in December 2016 and became director in May 2017. He has previously held head of division roles in public health, healthcare strategy, the cabinet secretariat and digital. A former marketing director of army recruiting and Royal Mail, Cook is also a trustee of the Poppy Factory, a charity that helps disabled, sick and injured ex-service people back into work.The director of digital is responsible for improving connectivity across Scotland, designing and implementing digital public services that meet user needs, enabling public service reform through digital technology and approaches, raising levels of digital participation amongst individuals and businesses, and transforming Scotland’s digital economy.
He recently told Holyrood: “We’ve got to embed an assurance process that has real teeth around the management of digital and ICT programmes. I will be working very closely with Anne Moises, the chief information officer, to really embed that and the digital first standards that underpin it.”
A set of 22 criteria has been drawn up with the intention of guaranteeing a minimum standard when it comes to the development of digital services.
He explained: “They’ll ensure there is a clear understanding of user needs and that they’re reflected in the way services have been designed and developed. And yes, it will give us the opportunity to stop projects if they’re not fulfilling a clear user need and being developed appropriately – that is absolutely essential. The Government Digital Service down south have operated with a very similar set of standards – I think ours are slightly broader, but they’re a very similar approach. I think it has borne fruit in terms of driving forward their digital public services agenda and I am really looking forward to seeing it implemented in Scotland.”
Sarah Davidson, Director-General Communities, Scottish Government
Sarah Davidson took up the post of director-general communities in May 2014.
She has been a civil servant since 1995 and has had a wide range of experience in both policy and service delivery. Her recent roles have included director of communications, director for local government and communities and acting director of human resources and organisational development for the Scottish Government
The director-general for communities is responsible for housing, local government, public service reform, digital transformation and government IT and digital services.
Anne Moises, Chief Information Officer, Scottish Government
Anne Moises became chief information officer in 2008. She is also head of profession for 450 ICT professionals within the Scottish Government, agencies and associated other bodies. Moises heads up the Information Services and Information Systems (ISIS) division within the Scottish Government. ISIS is the provider of ICT services for the Scottish Government and for a number of shared service customers in agencies and other public bodies, supporting around 10,000 users across Scotland.
David Amos, Head of Policy and Commissioning, Renfrewshire Council
David Amos has been shortlisted for the Digital Leader award at this year’s Holyrood Connect awards for his part in delivering the Digital Renfrewshire Strategy, which is designed to maximise the opportunities digital offers. A £1m free wifi programme has been developed and rollout is underway across town centres as well as public and community buildings across Renfrewshire.
Lorraine McMillan, Chief Executive, East Renfrewshire Council and Chair, Scottish Local Government Digital Transformation Board
Lorraine McMillan is the chief executive of East Renfrewshire Council and she is also chair of the Scottish Local Government Digital Transformation Board, focusing on getting more services online, reducing costs and enabling reform across local government. McMillan began her career in a Glasgow-based technology company and became a chartered physicist, gained an MBA and joined the Scottish Development Agency in 1989 specialising in technology transfer. She joined Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire in 1991 and became director of enterprise in 1996 before taking on the role of chief executive of Scottish Enterprise Renfrewshire in 1999.
Claudette Jones, Chief Information Officer, University of the West of Scotland
Claudette Jones became chief information officer at the University of the West of Scotland in September 2016. Previously, she was the chief information officer at City of Edinburgh Council for four years. During that time she was responsible for digital across the council’s corporate and education services. She has worked in ICT in a wide range of roles and sectors for over 20 years.
Alexander Holt, Head of CivTech, Scottish Government
CivTech is a programme being run by the Scottish Government’s Digital Directorate, with a mission to drive innovation in the public sector. A series of challenges harness the power of digital entrepreneurship to create new products that improve services, cut costs, free up resources and make user experiences better. Alexander Holt has been leading the project since June 2016. He is also the head of digital communities within the Digital Directorate’s digital public services and business transformation division.
Martyn Wallace, Chief Digital Officer, Digital Office for Scottish Local Government
Martyn Wallace has been head of the team at the new Digital Office for Scottish Local Government since September 2016. Initial aims are around organisation and setting out more standard approaches across local government in Scotland with regards to planning and implementation. The office aims be a centre of excellence in data, technology and digital, bringing about collaboration between councils to help them with their own transformation and ensure they are creating the best digital services for citizens.
Colin Birchenall, Chief Technology Officer, Digital Office for Scottish Local Government
Colin Birchenall was previously the lead architect for the £24m Glasgow Future Cities Demonstrator, the UK’s largest smart city test-bed, funded by Innovate UK. He has broad experience in the technology industry, specialises in strategy and architecture and has experience of the practical creation and development of enterprise and solution architecture practices within the context of the global integration strategies (gained at BT and Serco) and public sector reform (gained at Glasgow City Council).
Maureen Falconer, Regional Manager – Scotland, Information Commissioner’s Office
Maureen Falconer joined the ICO in 2007, and is currently regional manager for ICO’s Scotland office. She works with a variety of organisations, providing awareness-raising events and advice and guidance in all things data protection, including GDPR. She also sits on a number of steering groups, providing advice and guidance at the early stages of public sector initiatives.
Tom Meade, Digital Director, Registers of Scotland
Tom Meade was appointed to Registers of Scotland to write a digital strategy that reflected current agile and lean thinking to transform its business processes for customers and rationalise its IT estate. Previously he worked at the Student Loans Company and the Scottish Government before coming to RoS in September 2014.
Polly Purvis, Chief Executive, ScotlandIS
Following a period in banking, with Scottish Enterprise and in management consultancy, Purvis moved to the Scottish Software Federation, and was involved in the merger which formed ScotlandIS. Although not actually part of the public sector, as chief executive of the membership organisation for IT companies in Scotland, Purvis has a key role at the interface between the sectors.She represents ScotlandIS on the Digital Excellence Business Excellence Partnership, the Tech Partnership UK Scotland board, the ICT Skills Group, the Industrial Advisory Board of the University of Dundee’s School of Computing, is a director of DotScot Registry and chairs the board of CodeClan.
Martin Leven, Director of ICT, Police Scotland
Martin Leven has more than 20 years’ industry experience, including 15 at a senior and executive management level within some of the world’s largest organisations in a variety of industry sectors. He joined the former Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA) as chief information officer in January 2012, where he was responsible for the delivery of ICT to all eight Scottish police forces.Following the creation of Police Scotland, the ICT function transferred to Police Scotland from the newly formed Scottish Police Authority.
Stevie Wilson, Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3)
Former Police Scotland cyber crime lead, Stevie Wilson joined EC3 last January following his retirement from the Scottish force. The Hague-based centre, which launched in January 2013, acts as a hub for the EU’s fight against online fraud, child sexual exploitation and other forms of online criminality, primarily those involving serious organised crime. The body has been thrust into the public spotlight in recent weeks following a cyber attack that hit organisations worldwide, including the NHS throughout the UK.
Christopher Wroath, Director of Digital Transformation, NHS Education for Scotland
Christopher Wroath is a digital leader working in the Scottish NHS to transform a disparate and complex information system into a single unified environment, while putting individual members of the NHS and social care workforce at the centre of delivery. He previously worked as director of IT at Number 10 and the Cabinet Office Shared Communication Service. Before that he was head of ICT at the Imperial War Museum.
Michelle Brogan, Service Development Manager, Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Telecare (SCTT)
Over the last 18 months, Michelle Brogan has led a national implementation programme that has expanded home and mobile health monitoring technologies across 12 health boards nationwide. In so doing, more than 6,000 patients with chronic diseases are being supported to manage their own conditions and as a result live independently. SCTT and NHS 24 have been shortlisted for the Holyrood Connect Digital Health and Care award on account of the programme.
Fiona Gray, Data Hub Project Manager, Improvement Service
As of 31 December 2016, 1.3 million National Entitlement Cards used for concessionary travel in Scotland were due to expire as the smartcard technology embedded in them became obsolete. Rather than ask all customers to reapply, a data matching and cleansing service – otherwise known as the Data Hub – was provided provided free of charge by the Improvement Service, led by Fiona Gray. All bar one of Scotland’s 32 councils used the solution.
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